Monday June 17, 2019 – One of the most consistent issues I hear both musicians and patrons talk about are “empty rooms.” As a former venue operator, and a life-long performing musician, I get it. I play in rooms with only a handful of people present. I’ve booked shows that only a handful of people have attended. There is no one single answer that will solve this issue.
I’ve performed in support of world renown musicians to empty rooms …as in only ten people, and five of them were associated with the show. This actually happened to me not long ago, where I played as the opener for an nationally recognized award winning singer-songwriter in front of ten people. I’ve also seen and performed in support of platinum selling bands that drew only a couple hundred people to the show.
Some venues are “concert” rooms – meaning the band is totally responsible for how many people attend – it’s essentially a popularity contest. If you’re a new band, or an up and coming local band, chances are likely you won’t have many people in “your” audience, and you hope to draw from those who show up to see the headliner – which supposedly does have a local draw.
Some venues are established restaurant / bar / music rooms. Some have a regular clientele. We all want to play those rooms. Some do not and therefore rely on the popularity of the band -the band draw. I’ve managed rooms like that, and performed at more than I can remember. Sometimes there is a crowd to play to, and in some cases the draw is minimal or not there at all.
My father, who owned a jazz venue in the early 60s, also complained about this issue – both as the owner of a venue and as a professional working musician. The issue is not new. However, today the issue is exacerbated by there being many hundreds of places to play in our region, and several thousands of bands and solo acts wishing to perform publicly – both from our own region as well as those out touring.
SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC – It’s the lifeblood of our industry.
VIDEO PICK OF THE WEEK
The debut from the Boulder based band The Beeves was produced by Nate Cook (The Yawpers).
MONDAY MORNING MUSIC MEETING (MMMM)
(D) = debut LP/EP or single
(N) = new track from previously debuted LP/EP
(P) = Colorado Playlist exclusive premier
Poco – A Good Feelin’ To Know – A Good Feelin’ To Know (1972)
(D) Scott Slay & the Rail – The Rail – The Rail (2019)
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club – Thy Will Be Done – Unentitled (2011)
(N) Grant Farm – Love and Pain – Broke In Two (2019)
Wendy Woo Band – Unwind – Austerity (2011)
DeVotchKa – Contrabanda – 100 Lovers (2011)
Thom Sumbler And The Exceptions – It’s A Sin To Tell A Lie – There’s One In Every Crowd (2019)
(D) The Movers & Shakers – Pink and Black Cadillac – Live at Sun Studios (2019)
Chris Daniels & The Kings – Funky to the Bone – Funky to the Bone (2015)
Paa Kow – Cookpot – Cookpot (2017)
Sweet Water Well – Zoeology – Westword Music Awards Showcase ’95 (1995)
(D) Heavy Diamond Ring – Wild Things (2019)
Fierce Bad Rabbit – Matter of Time – The Maestro and the Elephant (2012)
(D) The Beeves – Jamie’s Revenge – Adam & Beeve (2019)
Flobots – The Rose And The Thistle – The Circle In The Square (2012)
The Knew – Major Nights – Man Monster (2012)
Kyle Emerson – May You Find Peace (2019)
(D) Dressy Bessy – Stay True – Fast Faster Disaster (2019) Sarah Snead – All I’ve Got – Wake Tomorrow (2018)
Big Head Todd & The Monsters – Damaged One – New World Arisin’ (2017)
Ben Haugland – Big Foot – A Million Dreams (2015)